The question I ask in the title is rhetorical of course. My writing skills (or lack thereof) are such that this story will probably be longer than it needs to be so bare with me.
This happened in around 2002 when my nephew (M) was about 14. He usually stayed with me on the occasional weekends when I would have to watch Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings for the umpteenth time. Anyway, at around 8 or 9pm'ish his friend (L) who is also 14, and his younger brother (C) who was 12 called us to ask us to go to the local take away with them.
Their parents were out and they weren't allowed out at that time on their own. My nephew and I agreed and decided to have something to eat ourselves, so together with my small dog, walked to their house to collect the 2 boys and then made our way to the take away.
Opposite their house is a big children's park which you can cut through to get to the take away. At the other end of the park is an exit to the main road where the takeaways are located (about 3 zillion of them) Through the exit gates of the park is an alley way leading to the main road which is quite dark but has a few street lights. To the left as you are exiting the park down the alleyway are the back gates to houses which are located on the road we would have taken had we not cut through the park.
Anyway, we walked through the alleyway to the other end and onto the main road and got our meals. On the way home we walked back through the alleyway to take us into the park... This time of course, the gates to the houses are on our right. Now, this part is how I remember it, I'm not sure if it's the same as (C) remembers it. (C) was to my left and his brother (L) was to my right and we were talking whilst (M) was running ahead of us being chased by my dog... I distinctly remember my dog trying to jump at his legs as (M) was kind of skipping trying to avoid him.
Anyway, I wasn't really taking much notice of them as I was talking to (C) and (L)... Just then I heard "BOO" and then laughter. We all turned to our right and saw (M) had been hiding in one of the gates to make us jump. He didn't really make me jump though, but I was more curious about how the hell he'd got there as fast as I'd only just that second seen him running or "skipping" if you like, along with my dog.
I thought to myself how weird that was but pretty much ignored it as it was probably just me having some sort of brain art, but then (C) said, "I thought you were down there with (J) " confirming that what I had seen wasn't just me having some kind of brain art after all. (C) had obviously seen what I had seen and I acknowledged this to him as the shiver ran through my spine.
(L) hadn't seen it but became quite creeped out because (C) and I were talking about it, both suggesting that we might have just witnessed a ghost of some kind. I don't know who or what it was that (C) and I had seen that night, but I can say it's probably one of my strangest experiences in my life.